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Guest Blog by Carole McCauley: 5th Biennial Ocean Literacy Summit held in Woods Hole

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Sunday, November 23, 2014

Where better to celebrate our connection to the marine environment than the historical epicenter of American marine research: Woods Hole, Mass.? The New England Ocean Science Education Collaborative (NEOSEC) held its 5th biennial Ocean Literacy Summit from November 6-7, and was hosted by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute with support from the Marine Biological Laboratory.

The Summit opened on November 6 with an opening reception, exhibits, and presentation by the Synergy Research group, which pairs artists and scientists to render works of art that communicate complex research. Additionally, the COSEE Graduate Students for Ocean Education (GrOE) hosted a Science Café and poster session in conjunction with the other evening activities. A number of field trips in and around Woods Hole were offered before and after the event, as well as during an extended networking lunch break.

On November 7, the 220 attendees enjoyed an inspiring keynote speech by Smithsonian “Oceans” author, Deborah Cramer, as well as introductory remarks by WHOI’s Senior Scientist, Scott Doney.  Concurrent sessions involved joint presentations by a number of high-caliber scientists and educators on topics related to the Summit’s theme, “Ocean Literacy Principle #6: Humans and the Oceans are Inextricably Connected.”  Some of these pairs had worked together, and some had not; this novel format was extremely well-received, and hopefully encouraged some new collaborations. The Summit wrapped up with a panel discussion about our collective responsibility to sustain and protect our oceans that was moderated by public radio’s Ari Daniel Shapiro (himself a WHOI Ph.D.).

The 2014 Ocean Literacy Summit was made possible by a number of generous sponsors, chief among which is the Northeast Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS), whose outreach work closely aligns with NEOSEC’s mission to “leverage and strengthen the region’s extraordinary ocean science and educational assets to advance the understanding of the vital connections between people and the ocean.”

The event would not have been possible without the unflagging effort of a number of individuals who dedicated many, many hours of their time and energy.  NEOSEC supports 55+ member institutions from around New England whose impact stems from collective work, learning, and dissemination of resources and shared experiences in marine education.

- Carole McCauley, Board Member, Massachusetts Marine Educators (2011 to present)
Outreach Program Coordinator, Northeastern University Marine Science Center
Past-Chair, NEOSEC (2014-15)

Tags:  conference  Ocean Literacy 

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